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ActiveGrid Promotes Grids For All By Taking An Open-Source Route

San Francisco startup ActiveGrid Inc. launched two products for grid computing Monday and, in a surprise move, says it's offering both as open-source code at SourceForge, a directory of in-development open-source software.

Speculation on ActiveGrid's additions to the open-source library have aired on and off in recent days on such public forums as Slashdot, the open-source code news site. By opening up its first products, Grid Application Server and ActiveGrid Application Builder, ActiveGrid CEO Peter Yared says he hopes a strong developer community will form around them and encourage their use.

ActiveGrid will continue its own development of the open-source code and bring out commercial products built on top of them. Yared describes ActiveGrid as a commercial open-source company, as do predecessors JBoss Inc., the Java application server company, and MySQL AB, the open-source database company.

Yared is the former chief technology officer for application servers at Sun Microsystems. He also headed development of technology for the Liberty Alliance, Sun's consortium to establish a standard identity-authentication system for the Web. He left Sun in May 2003.

Yared says companies can be built today around the principles of low-cost hardware and elements of the open-source suite known as LAMP--Linux, Apache, MySQL, and the scripting languages Perl, Python, and PHP. A start-up company can build its IT system on top of a handful of low-cost Intel servers, and the company can scale up its computing resource as it grows with more Intel servers and ActiveGrid software.

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